According to a recent report, only 3% of disadvantaged 18-year-olds get places in the top universities. This compares unfavourably with the 21% of those from more privileged backgrounds. Professor Patrick McGhee asks whether Universities should be doing more for social mobility in education.
Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive at Crossfields Institute, says:
“The debate about social mobility and fairer access to elite Universities is a merry-go-round of category mistakes and moving goalposts. There is hope, however, in Professor McGhee’s article when he writes: ‘Should the debate not be about a fair system for access to the professions rather than securing fair access to an unfair filtering system?’
To this excellent question I would like to add the following: rather than being concerned with fairer access to elite universities, we need to work on multiple levels to ensure that a) the quality of higher education in universities across the nation has the appropriate breadth and depth to make a significant contribution to the development of individual potential, and b) that the access and social mobility issue is about receiving high quality higher education and not merely associating with brand names.”
Please see other articles on our blog with regard to the social mobility question.